Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ageing With a Smile Initiative with a New Turn

NEWS GAMBIA, BANJUL, The situation that many believe can be putting the getting old at disadvantage and in misery as they are ignored, living with no adequate care, being alone and can be ill with in silence is coming to be the thing of the past, if the information from Ageing with a Smile Initiative, an organization , is any thing to go by
At a press briefting held at National Malaria Control Programme Conference Hall in Kanifing on the 5th January 2010, Ageing with a Smile Initiative (ASI) told a cluster of journalists that they are now in point to speak out that the elderly in our communities will be given first-class attention and to cope with the state of affairs of the present generation, this are the words of the secretary general, Mr. Ousman Badgie.
According to Badgie, changes in out today’s life fashion has contributed a lot in making life not easy for the elderly citing the growing economic problems as the main factor. “Changes in our live style have necessitated by a number of factors that includes the growing economic problems and is forcing individuals and families to be concerned about their own advance that caring for and supporting the elders and others in the society is missing.”
He disclosed that in customary Gambian society, elderly people have been satisfactorily cared for by family members, friends and the wider neighborhood but nowadays it seems to be unlike from the past as the future generation cares for their own self attention.
This initiative , Badgie disclosed will be based on serving the elderly at their homes with their concert and the concert of the family members adding that they will be funded by the private sector in the Gambia as part of their social duty towards the elderly.
He revealed that the initiative is piloted in the greater Banjul area numbering 50-100 elderly people but was quick to say that in the near future it will be decentralized country wide.
Dilating on some of their objectives, Badgie said to improve access to basic health care services to the disadvantaged elderly, to promote the re-integration of the elderly in Gambia social life, promote inter generational dialogue and advocates for the rights of the elderly among other things.
Secretary General stressed that ASI is a new and innovative drive in the Gambia aimed at helping and improving the lives of the ageing in the country with a supportive changed way allowing them to live in more decorous and fulfilling lives.
He position that in their key intervention areas, they will provide health check ups for the elderly at homes covering blood pressure, blood sugar, eye care, hearing difficulties, dental services, health and nutrition, muscular-skeleton problems etc. In addition, the provision of services like portable drinking water supply, laundry, appropriate clothing among other services available for them.
According to him, the initiative will also revived some positive traditional roles of the elderly in the Gambian social life such as story telling, riddles, jokes and knitting noting provision of opportunities for the ageing to meet with their mates or peers so as to interact in which it will make life enjoyable for them as they will remember their past while discussing on current issues of the society.
Badgie stated that the initiative will also conduct trainings and sensitizations sessions for the family members of elderly people on how to support them adding that they need great care, love and peace for them to enjoy daily life.
According to him, it is component and package of their interventions to advocate for the provision of essential services for the elderly by the government, non-governmental organizations, private sector and individuals and conducting research work on the situation for the ageing in the country.
Mr. Balamusa Joof, co-coordinator of ASI said that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare when approach has fully associated and welcome the initiative adding that as part of their pilot project, a study will be conducted in collaboration with the University of The Gambia (UTG), the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Gambia Bureau of Static (GBoS) as he puts it, the figures will be shared with the public for digestion.
According to Joof, “some of the elderly are just like prisoners in their own homes which makes life treble for them which should not be the case as most of them are the founders of compounds they are in prison due to their age.
“Now the alarm bell has ring for a change, they will be free and live in a happy life as far as ASI is concern, we will support them to the maximum in their every day life to make it easy for them.”
Mr. Joof noted that nowadays only small group of the family members actually knows the problems of the elderly as everyone is busy for his/ her own day to day affairs.
He further called for the support of the public for the crusade adding that the elderly need great care for them to meet their health conditions and to re-unite with the present generation.
ASI is a new organization formed by a group of dedicated Gambians with a view to improving the welfare of the elderly in our society and is fully registered with the register of chambers.
The launching of ASI will be officially held at the Kanifing Municipality at it conference hall on the 9th January 2010 at the hours of 10 am. As part of the launching ceremony, there will be a match past starting from Africell complex along the busy Kairaba Avenue to the KMC grounds where the program will take proper.
At the grounds of KMC, the Gambian well -known Kora player and the leader of the Kumareh Band Jaliba Kuyateh of Brikama Town, will entertain the public, which will be followed by welcoming and introductory remarks by the lord mayor of KMC Yankuba Kolley, skit performance on the situation of the elderly in the Gambia by the Nova Scotia Gambia Association (NSGA) drama troupe. The coordinator of ASI will take the microphone to introduce the association to the audience, statement to be also delivery by the World Health Organization (WHO) Resident Representative Madam Chinwe Dike and Dr. Ibrahim Malick Samba and the keynote address and the launching of ASI by the honorable Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Abubacarr Gaye.

1 comment:

Balla Musa said...

This is great! Keep it up!!!